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Poll: In Massive Shift, 57 Percent of Michigan Voters Support Gay Marriage

A new poll reflects rapidly-changing opinions on same-sex marriage in Michigan, the Detroit News reports:

MichiganSupport for same-sex marriage has increased to 56.8 percent, up 12.5 percentage points from last year — movement fueled largely by shifting opinions from Republicans and independents, the poll of 600 registered voters by the Glengariff Group Inc. showed.

The support is in contrast to 2004, when Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

That year, Glengariff found 24 percent of state voters supported gay and lesbian marriages. Now, 54 percent would repeal the ban and replace it with an amendment to allow same-sex marriages, the poll found.

"I don't think I've ever seen a policy question move as quickly as this one," said Richard Czuba, president of Glengariff, a Chicago-based firm that has polled about Michigan's attitudes on gay marriage and civil unions regularly since 2004.

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  1. Next we'll probably see that Alabama supports marriage equality with plurality support. I mean, it's hard to believe given the state's politics, that they also support marriage equality. Because Michigan citizens elect anti-gay conservatives.

    Now we have polls, though, that say Michigan, Arizona, Texas, Florida and Ohio support marriage equality with plurality/majority support. Things are drastically changing completely nationwide.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 15, 2013 10:21:37 AM


  2. "I mean, it's hard to believe given the state's politics, that they also support marriage equality. Because Michigan citizens elect anti-gay conservatives."

    Michigan has also elected equality-supporting Dems like Jennifer Granholm and Debbie Stabenow. Minnesota, New Hampshire, Washington and Maryland are currently or have been recently represented in Congress by anti-gay conservatives yet each also has marriage equality. The unfortunate reality of Congressional districing and gerrymandering is that conservatives and Republicans often have representation in the House of Representatives which is disproportionate to the support they have in the general public. There are a lot of 55-45 red districts and 90-10 blue districts.

    Marilyn Musgrave and Michelle Bachman are two of the most anti-gay members of Congress in recent years yet each represents a district that has sent, or come very close to sending, a supporter of marriage equality to Congress in recent years.

    Posted by: Patric | May 15, 2013 10:41:33 AM


  3. without a favorable supreme court ruling these 'states' can give and take away gay marriage rights until the cows come home.

    With Scalia, Roberts, Alito and Kennedy looking at the Rational Basis test to determine if we fit their 'special' class of citizens...every so-called red state victory, or red state gay-positive polls becomes completely suspect in their dealings. The more political power it appears we have in these vicious red states, the less likely we'll have our way with SCOTUS.

    Texas: Pro gay today. Then after we are denied the right to mary based on SCOTUS's Rational basis test and our seemingly swift but obvious 'political power country-wide' these states will surely reverse trend...

    Posted by: mic | May 15, 2013 10:52:49 AM


  4. Perhaps Mic. Or perhaps the Court will see it as shifting public support that justifies a decision in our favor as they did with Loving v Virginia. There is precedence for both paths.

    Posted by: ChristopherM | May 15, 2013 11:38:25 AM


  5. Patric, none of the states mentioned are straight-up red states. Not New Hampshire, not Colorado, not Minnesota. There are anti-gay representatives in every state, of course, because outside of city centers, anti-gay attitudes are still very much common, if not the norm.

    Michigan is at most a dark purple state. The state's politics are very red and have been for a long time. The state's politics are anti-gay. The debates in the public sphere are anti-gay. The same is true in Arizona, Virginia, Texas. So it's hard to believe these polls for that reason. I'm not saying they're not true, but it's hard to believe.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 15, 2013 11:40:28 AM


  6. These polls are great...but when it's election time, things are different, largely because of gerrymandering. THAT is how all these crazy Republicans keep getting elected. The R-controlled state legislatures used the 2000 and 2010 censuses and redistricting times to completely rig the voting districts in way too many states so that it's often IMPOSSIBLE for non-crazy candidates to win elections at local /state levels.

    Posted by: Ben | May 15, 2013 11:57:49 AM


  7. Francis:

    2012 U.S. Presidential Election Results:

    Michigan: 54-45 President Obama

    Minnesota: 53-45 President Obama

    New Hampshire: 52-46 President Obama

    Colorado: 51-46 President Obama


    Number of Presidential Elections Since 1988 State has Given Electoral Votes to Dem Nominee:

    Michigan: 6/6

    Minnesota: 6/6

    New Hampshire: 5/6

    Colorado: 3/6

    New Hampshire U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte in 2010 a couple of months before winning her election:

    A: I absolutely support and believe in marriage as between a man and a woman and I do think it's unfortunate that our state has made a different decision on that. Many of you who are out there who are out there working at the state level, or running for state office, I commend your efforts to repeal that law here in the state of N.H. and I think that's very important. I wish you all well and I would love to help with any effort to get our law back in the right place on this.
    Q: If elected US Senator, would you support or oppose the Federal Defense of Marriage Act?
    A: I do not think we should overturn DOMA, because it's absolutely for states to decide marriage. We don't want one state's decision impacting another state. So I would vote against any repeal of DOMA because of that.

    Percentage Support for Major Equality in Ballot Measure in 2016, per Nate Silver:

    Michigan: 55.0%

    Minnesota: 58.2%

    New Hampshire: 63.2%

    Colorado: 58.0%

    Posted by: Patric | May 15, 2013 12:01:01 PM


  8. well, the reason they keep electing anti-gay candidates is that Michigan, like many states, simply has people born into a concept of a Political Identity. They don't know, nor even CARE, about the specifics of policy. They're just gonna vote for Republicans.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 15, 2013 12:11:16 PM


  9. Michigan has a constitutional amendment preventing same sex marriage. It's great the voters have now changed their position, but unless a court steps in, the process of reversing the amendment is lengthy and difficult. It would have been great if the republican Bush platform hadn't scared all these states into these ridiculous amendments in the first place.

    Posted by: BearlyBob | May 15, 2013 12:43:02 PM


  10. Patric, I didn't say Michigan citizens didn't support equality or Obama. They went big for Obama, and that's awesome and I think this poll is awesome. Other purple states like Virginia and Florida went to Obama. I'm talking about the state's politics. These states that supposedly are pro-gay do not have pro-gay state politics. Michigan's STATE politics are more red than the other states mentioned. Michigan is locked up by Republicans. So is Arizona, Virginia, Texas. So these states don't back up the views they supposedly hold in the ballot box.

    We can talk about reasons why that is, but the fact is, citizens in these states vote Republican. They vote for Republicans that are conservative. Even Wisconsin, with Tammy Baldwin and Mark Pocan, is locked by Republicans. Iowa and Minnesota's marriage laws could be in danger post-2014 if those states turn Republican which may happen.

    There is a disconnect between what people say in polls and the general public discourse in these states that have a majority of it's citizenry that supports equality, and what people do in ballot boxes on this issue. That's all I'm saying.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 15, 2013 1:11:51 PM


  11. The public discourse in states like.....my state Virginia, is not marriage equality. It's not even on our radar in this state. We don't even have hate crimes against us recognized in this state. Michigan has anti-gay adoption laws. Texas and Arizona...we know their issues. So it doesn't add up. That's it. It doesn't mean a majority doesn't support equality in these states, but what they're saying they believe in and what they do don't connect.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 15, 2013 1:14:11 PM


  12. When talking about Michigan's legislature I think it's important to know that redistricting and gerrymandering on the part of the GOP has stolen the house from MI democrats. Over half of the state's population is in South East MI, but we only enjoy about a 1/3 of the representation because of some "creative" redistricting. In response to our red state policies, the majority of which have been passed using illegal means, Gov. Snyder has really bloodied his nose with Democrats over right to work and as a result anything that isn't a wackjob piece of legislation needs Dem and moderate GOP support, which he no longer has.

    Posted by: James | May 15, 2013 1:30:02 PM


  13. Ladies, stop arguing. You're both pretty.

    Posted by: BearlyBob | May 15, 2013 1:36:22 PM


  14. Also the case DeBoer v. Snyder is awaiting a desicion. The judge is waiting to see how SCOTUS rules and seeing as he asked the women to include marriage in their lawsuit against the state. I think there is a good chance he'd strike the amendment down.

    Posted by: James | May 15, 2013 1:58:19 PM


  15. I have no idea who is voting for all these GOP nutjobs here - the people of the state are not that conservative, and we have the most liberal city in the Midwest here (plus the blue bastion of Detroit. It's really bizarre to live here because what the people think and what they vote for is totally different. Perhaps they don't read... or the fact we never rcovered fromthe last couple recessions engenders fear.

    Posted by: Tarc | May 15, 2013 4:11:34 PM


  16. @Francis - we don't really know what these "red states" like Michigan (who are "red" at the state district level because of gerrymandering, but are "blue" on the national electoral level since they voted for Obama)would do if the people could vote - statewide - on a ballot measure to get rid of the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Such a state hasn't been put to the test yet. I don't see why they wouldn't vote just like Minnesota did for example.

    Posted by: Zambanini4Equality | May 15, 2013 9:56:30 PM


  17. @Zambanini4Equality, you're right, although I'd compare Michigan more to a state like Pennsylvania than Minnesota. We'll have to see what happens. States like Michigan haven't been put to the test and what happens in Ohio, if a marriage amendment is put on the ballot in that state this year, would be a very good litmus test to see where we stand in purple states. The fact the state did vote for Obama so strongly is a positive. Michigan has some very progressive, gay-accepting towns. What's most important is that it's clear things are moving in the right direction throughout the entire country.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 16, 2013 2:54:38 AM


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